United States Army Corps of Engineers will give an official update on the long-awaited Wares Creek dredging project before Manatee Board of County Commissioners Nov. 17. The Corps is the chief oversight agency among several involved on the multi-million-dollar project.
Manatee County Natural Resources Department Director Charlie Hunsicker told the board a contract for the dredging work could be executed by this December, putting work on schedule to begin by February 2010. Hunsicker said the Corps is investigating possible options to reduce the time needed to secure a qualified contractor to do the work.
“If this contracting method is successful, the project can possibly begin earlier which is important when we remember that our tropical rains begin in July,” Hunsicker said.
The dirt and muck that has clogged the creek bed for decades will be vacuumed out with a suction dredge. The material will be temporarily stored on the former Bradenton City Hall property, sending creek water back to the stream and removing solids that will be compressed and carted to a landfill or another approved location. The project is expected to last about eight months to one year.
The three major partners in the work are the Corps, contributing up to $18.7 million; Manatee County, contributing up to $14 million; and Southwest Florida Water management District, contributing up to $12.5 million. Special purpose grants from the Florida Legislature have contributed another $3.1 million.
For more information on the Wares Creek dredging project, call Hunsicker at 745-3727. To learn more about Manatee County, visit www.mymanatee.org.